School Aid was started by Scott and Marilyn Pearson as an alternative to the confectionery product fundraising trend in New Zealand schools.
We surveyed over 200 schools and asked what they were doing to gain discretionary funds through fundraising. Every school reported that they engaged in some form of fundraising and nearly all had dedicated teams committed to this purpose. Without these funds schools said they would not have the money to provide equipment, camps, trips, etc.
We wanted to find an everyday consumable product with great margin and we chose sticking plasters. Our plan was to build a brand that was easy to sell and of such good quality that families would look forward to the annual school fundraising campaign. The profit from selling these sticking plasters, which would ordinarily go to the supermarket, would instead go to the school; an example would be Girl Guide Biscuits.
By June 2014 we had chosen a manufacturer in China that makes all the Red Cross bandages and dressings. We imported 50,000 samples and launched our first school fundraising campaigns, starting with Gulf Harbour Primary and followed by another eight schools in the North Auckland area. In October 2014 we ordered our first container of Disaster Plasters.
The business model we have chosen enables us to keep costs low. School Aid is setup as a social enterprise with the belief that the business can be commercially sustainable and give all profits to schools.
We are receiving calls and emails from schools throughout New Zealand and are working hard to find Regional Coordinators throughout the country to work with local schools.
Scott is a serial entrepreneur and has started over twenty businesses. In 1991 he began Laser Plus – selling computer printers to the corporate market and grew it to the largest print solutions company in NZ. He then helped develop an online business help site StartRunGrow.com which quickly grew to become one of the largest sites of its kind worldwide.
Scott is currently consulting to the exciting NZ software startup Pushpay and leading the team to at School Aid.
A marine biologist based in Bay of Plenty, Emma has worked as a scientist and educator for 19 years throughout the world and has been involved in many marine and environmental projects. Most recently, she has turned to her love of words and is working as a freelance writer. She is passionate about her work with School Aid supporting schools to raise funds in a stress-free way. In her spare time, Emma can be found running along the beach or on her yoga mat.
Tony is passionate about helping schools raise funds to improve the learning environment for local children. With such a simple way to raise funds and a great team he loves working with the schools. Tony has a wife and three young children and enjoys giving back to the community.